Collections for people: Museums’ stored collections as a public resource

Collections in UK museums grew almost exponentially in the latter half of the 20th century, due to fundamental social and economic factors coupled with public and private support for museums as institutions. The perception has been that museum collections, mostly maintained at public expense, are under-used as a resource.

This report by Dr Suzanne Keene from UCL outlines how stored collections can be used more effectively. The research was prompted by calls for more effective use of museums’ stored collections and was supported by the AHRC, MLA, the Collections Trust, The Pilgrim Trust and the Museums Association. The report aimed to respond to the following questions:

  • What is the size and nature of the collections as a resource?
  • How much are different types of collection used by people other than museum staff?
  • How do users perceive this service?
  • How do museums provide for collections use?

Click the link on the right-hand side to download this resource as a PDF.

Date created: 2008

Author: Suzanne Keene

Publisher: UCL